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Why does the Azalea Festival choose queens that have no connection to the Wilmington area?

Mike Voorheis
StarNews

Azalea Festival Queen Barbara Alyn Woods (cq) and her daughters, Natalie Lind (cq, left) and Emily Lind (cq, right) cut the ribbon to kick off the 55th Annual Azalea Garden Tour at the Dudley Mansion on Front Street as Azalea Festival events continue Friday April 11, 2008. Staff Photo BY PAUL STEPHEN / STAR NEWS

Chuck Kays, outgoing president of the N.C. Azalea Festival, said the committee does consider queen candidates with local ties.

Although the queen is usually a recognizable national celebrity, some celebrities with local ties have been crowned Queen Azalea. Among them are Sydney Penny (1999), Nina Repeta (2000) and Barbara Alyn Woods (2008).

This year’s queen, Ericka Dunlap, is from Florida.

“The president leads the pursuit for the acquisition of the queen,” Dr. Kays said. He said the president is free to seek input from the Azalea Festival board.

Kays said that when the Azalea Festival president recruits the queen, he/she is looking for someone who is articulate, elegant and realizes the importance of the festival to the community. One question Dr. Kays asked himself before choosing a queen is: Who best exemplifies the spirit of the festival?

He said a local celebrity was considered this year, but her filming schedule conflicted with the festival.

 

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One Response to “ Why does the Azalea Festival choose queens that have no connection to the Wilmington area?”

  1. On April 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm Kelly wrote:

    A lot of my friends, my 16 year old daughter and I think that the Azalea Festival queen should be a local woman, age 18 to 80 or more. Maybe nominated by the people and voted for by NHC residents. A woman who has fought and won the battle with breast cancer, or a teacher who is exceptional to her students. Even just a girl who is confident, and caring, someone who has done well in school against all odds and is proud of the Festival and her community. I think if Dr. Keys chooses the queens on what he said he does he could find a wonderful Queen Azalea right here in Wilmington.